Our family had a very special guest over for dinner tonight, Uncle Phil. We recently moved down the street from each other and have been enjoying spending more time together. Freddie and Phil were on their way to watch a college basketball game and so we decided to do a family dinner before hand. What a nice treat!
Phil and I met while I was working at my last job. I had heard some wonderful things about him, but I had no idea what a big impact this man would make on my life. However, if I had only spoken with everyone else that knew him, I wouldn’t have been surprised. He has a special place in many people’s hearts.
What inspires me so much about Phil is that he lives life without boundaries. He is determined to overcome obstacles, refusing to let a stumbling block break his stride. In fact, Phil wrote a book entitled “Never Give Up”. It is an autobiography of his life growing up as an individual with cerebral palsy. For Phil, this meant that he has been in a wheelchair most of his life and requires assistance with daily living skills. Some people may find this unfortunate but if you ask Phil he will tell you that he has had a very good life. And I would have to agree, this man has had an exceptional life. In Phil’s eyes, it is all about how you choose to look at things.
The lesson that Phil helps me to remember is to never take anything for granted. Appreciate what you have, especially the little things. Tomorrow is not promised, so live life to the fullest, regardless of what others say. Phil lives and breathes these words every day. I am sure that Phil has heard a lot of doubtful words in his life, but he has continued to move forward without any regrets.
I remember one day I was venting to Phil about all that was going on in my life. I guess you can say I was feeling sorry for myself. He looked at me and said, “Oh, you poor thing” in a kind but semi-sarcastic tone. At that moment I realized, he was right. What am I complaining for? I have my health, a place to live, a beautiful family, a loving husband. I need to start looking at all the things that ARE going right with my life and shift my focus to concentrate on what I AM grateful for. It’s little moments like this that make Phil such an important teacher on my journey.